Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    March 16, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT

2:00 pm
by the way, if it happens in tunisia, that proves nothing if it will has been in libya or egypt. the truth is we don't know. >> i'd like to say just one thing. in the egyptian revolution, almost all the casualties were in the first 18 days of the revolt and they were governments shooting at demonstrators. since that time, it's been a remarkably peaceful revolution. and they did have a conduct the freest and fairist election in the history of egypt. so i think there are all the risks and it all could go south. but i think you have to give egyptian people some credit for what they've done so far. and we ought to give them such help as we can and that they're willing to accept. because it matters how this comes out. remember, there's another
2:01 pm
revolution that was made in the name of freedom and democracy in 1979. that was the iranian revolution and got hijacked and it has been the principle problem in the middle east for the next 30 years. so how these revolutions come out really matters to the people there but also to us. and that's why we need to be providing such help as we can. >> i think this is a -- this is the beginning of a story. we're seeing chapter one of what's going to be at least a ten-chapter book that's going to emerge. we're not the authors of it. they are. but we have a huge stake in what happens there. i don't know what's going to happen. i think -- a i don't think people that found their voice are going to lose it. b, i think we have a huge stake in figuring out a way as i was saying before to create standards of accountability because politically and economically because they do have to deliver. and i think at this point
2:02 pm
they're showing signs they understand they have to deliver. i think the same in tunisia. and, you know, it's -- i go back to there was one interview i read of a woman in cairo from one of the poorest districts who says she wrote it for the muslim brotherhood because they were not corrupt and they would build house being. well, you know, they get in there. they don't build any housing. they don't create any jobs. you know, i suspect they're going to have a problem. so the key is, as elliott said, you got to have repeatable elections. that's why the standards of accountsability. and we'll see. we have a huge stake. our ability to affect it is limited. >> the willing tost bell reminds me we have to adjourn our panel. we'll take a 15-minute break before the next one starts. please join me in expressing gratitude to our panel. [ applause ]
2:03 pm
>> as you heard, the group will be coming back in 15 minutes for the final panel of the day here
2:04 pm
at georgetown university. the next panel will focus on fostering religious freedom. we'll have live coverage when they return. news from the supreme court today about the upcoming oral arguments on the supreme court -- on the health care law, the court today said they will not allow television coverage of the three days of oral arguments, however, they will provide same day audio. we'll bring you same day audio coverage on c-span3 and and also on c-span radio. the house and senate will be coming back in and also on our facebook today, we want to point new the direction of the question we started this morning on washington journal about afghanistan. what do you think about the decision by president karzai to
2:05 pm
demand an immediate u.s. pullback? this is news today from david ignatious. osama bin laden was working on a plot to assassinate barack obama and david petraeus. weigh in with your comments on facebook the house is back from the district work period on monday. also next week on the house side, we expect budget committee chairman paul ryan to present his 2013 budget proposal. the senate is back next week, too. they'll come in for work, continuing work on that small business bill that aims at loosening securities regulations. follow the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. >> our system is fundamentally undemocratic in several ways. one is closed primaries. so in half the states in the
2:06 pm
country, 40% of all the voters can't participate in the prime yarz. they have no say in who gets nominated. and as a result, we get more and more extreme candidates on both endsst spectrum. >> saturday night at 10:00 eastern on "afterwards," linda killia writes that most electorate block in the u.s. are independent voters and they decided every election since world war ii. also this weekend on book tv, saturday at 8:00 p.m., david ross on how roger ails turned the network into an extension of the republican party. and sunday night at 10:00, syndicated talk radio host mark levin and his thoughts on making america. book tv every weekend on c-span2. >> they would wear garments made of homespun cloth. and this homespun cloth would be much more rough text toured,
2:07 pm
would be much less fine than the kinds of goods that they could import from great britain. but by wearing this homespun cloth, women were visibly and vividly and physically displaying their political sentiments. >> sunday night at 9:00, george mason university professor rose marie zagari on the role of women during the revolutionary war, part of american history tv this weekend on c-span3. >> a prosecutor yesterday unsealed a report describing the widespread misconduct that derailed the corruption conviction of the late senator ted stevens of alaska. part of the report said that a systematic concealment of significant evidence that would have almost assured the acquittal of the former appropriations chairman and senate president pro temperat. e we heard more about it on this morning's washington journal. >> john, good morning. thank you for being with us.
2:08 pm
what are the details about this? what should people know about the inquiry into senator stephen's trial. >> well, this is a report by a special prosecutor henry shelby. he was appointed by the court. he was convicted of failing to report gifts. he lost his election that year. in the following spring -- well, after the conviction, there was an fbi agent came forward and said prosecutors failed to provide evidence to steven's defense attorneys. they called into question in the
2:09 pm
case that attorney general eric holder then in early '09 asked to have a conviction set aside in a absolutely stunning development. and the judge agreed to do that. then he appointed this gentleman to lead this investigation. we knew the outlines of the findings since last november. we knew that, you know, there were major, major, major problems inside the prosecution over the stevens case. i think what was stunning yesterday and yesterday's developments is when you go through the report, it's a lengthy report. it's over 500 pages. and then there's responses from
2:10 pm
the prosecutors and so folks involved in the case from justice department side which also link response. it is just stunning that actually how much was withheld, how there were serious, serious doubts within justice department or there should have been more serious doubts about the case against stevens. and folks knew for a long time that there were senior justice department officials knew for a long time how suspect parts of the case were against the late senator. >> there was a suspected suicide against the stevens family.
2:11 pm
have you seen any estimates about how much it cost for the federal government to mount this prosecution? >> it is millions of dollars. i mean it's hard to oversee how important the stevens case was. ted stevens was the longest serving republican in senate history. he was a legendary figure. he was a very direct man. you know, his job was he sought to bring federal dollars back to alaska. he was a powerful man. it's hard to overstate how important that case was. they raided his home more than a year before he was indicted. they had a long time to look at this case. and it was a huge conviction. at the time it was seen as a huge victory for the justice department. now, you know, years later, it's become -- and it is still a political issue in alaska and a political issue here. you have some of stevens' former colleagues bashing the justice department and senator patrick leahy, chairman of the judiciary committee says he may have a hearing on what happened here. it shattered morale.
2:12 pm
and it is still playing out. doj pulled back from some cases that you would prior to stevens case you would have think they would go after, for instance, the allegations against former senator john ensign. they didn't bring criminal charges. they're still looking at it. but the shocking developments here, you would have thought they would have gone after him. there were other cases. so it's still playing out. you know, there is still legislation on this trying to change prosecutoral standards. when you look at the report and folks that covered it like myself how strong the special prosecutor was. and the other part is ervin side the justice department was pointing fingers at each other. junior prosecutors in the case,
2:13 pm
some of them being blamed for the bulk of what happened, they're pointing fingers at their bosses. bosses are saying it was these guys. nobody wants to take responsibility. it is surprising to me how much finger pointing and then -- actually, they take after some of these guys in the report and says, you know, he was interviewing -- he interviewed everybody. and the justice department officials involved and, you know, they're all blaming each other. and there are certain points where they just, you know, there
2:14 pm
are five or six of them in the room discussing things about the case that were later came out and, you know, now none of them can recall what happened. >> it's a complex story. obviously, hard to do justice in a couple minutes on the phone here. i would suggest to people they read your story. there is a major piece in "the washington post" on it today. you were there for so much of the trial. are you thinking about make a book coming out on this? >> no. i don't know. i'm sure there will be. to me it's stunning. >> not from you? >> i don't know. we'll see. you know, i think it would be fascinating to do so. i would hope somebody does it. again, for your viewers, i mean it's important that issues like this get explored in depth. we need the justice department and other law enforcement to be able to police congress and police powerful public officials. the thing you have to do so in is a responsible way.
2:15 pm
the line is very difficult to achieve. i think in in case, it's clear that the goal became more important than actual justice. i think that was a shame for democracy. >> let me jump in at that point with a thank you very much for giving us some of the details involved in this very -- this lengthy report from a special prosecutor in the stevens case with the headlines on it finding major misconduct by the justice department. the prosecution team and the ted stevens case. we encourage you to read more about it this morning. you covered the trial, wrote the story this morning. thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me. we go back now to georgetown university. it's the last panel of the day. the group gathered here to talk about religion, peace, and world affairs and this last panel focusing on lessons for u.s. policy that were learned in religious freedom and curbing religiouex arab
2:16 pm
spring. >> -- extremism and the lessons of the arab spring. now whatdo, i'm tom farr. i'll introduce our panelists in just a minute. i thought i would begin by he t that we heard this morning which we -- some of which we may pick up on in our discussion. as i mentioned at the beginning of this conre is a conversation in a sense a continuous conversation in this case about the arab spring but we have had and will have conferences on other countries including china, russia, india and the united states. i mentioned the conference next week on religious freedom in the united statesment i hope you'll all come to that. i want to sketch out just a few themes, i suspect each of yo df ones, perhaps. some of the ones i have chosen but some of them struck me as interesting and some came quest. and i'll lay them out very briefly here.
2:17 pm
the first is the proposition that we heard in our first panel that content of particular religions does not have a significant impact on violent religious extremism or at least the data shows that. and i assume that would continue into what we're calling islamist extremism. we had some questions about that. i think that's an interesting proposition, one that is supported by data. but one that is one of our questions that seems a little bit counterintuitive. i suspect we'll and the notion that the main causes of religious extremism are -- the institutions have more effect on the rise of extremism than do religious doctrines, grief yanvances have
2:18 pm
great deal to do with this. a lot more came out of that first panel. i don't mean to slight it. there is some incredible statistical work done by the talented people on that panel. i invite you to look at their web sites and the excellent works that they talked about. in this extraordinary policy conversation we just had, some of the three of most important and consequential and i think you saw talented policymakers that the united states has had in the past two administrations. a number of interesting things were said, some of it at 10,000 feet. kind of foun listen to that. i want to pull out a couple religious freedom things that came out of that conversation. steve hadley said, i think he's right, if you try to impose religious freedom in full on middle eastern nations, you're going to empower religious extremist because it won't work. so what we need, he said, and i'm paraphrasing here, is religious tolerance is a kind of
2:19 pm
halfway house to a religious freedom. he meant something short of full participation of all religious groups on the basis of equality within the society. but working toward that end, so baby steps if you will, a halfway house towards religious freedom. dennis ross made remarks, the point that every country including every muslim majority country is different whether it comes to religion and to certainly to religious freedoms and its needs. so when we think about the so-called muslim world, a term that isn't used too much anymore and i think properly so, we need to think in terms of at least muslim worlds or different countries in which islam is reflected and expressed in different ways. i think that was an important point. elliott abrams said religious freedom like democracy needs a
2:20 pm
limiting principle to prevent authoritarian tyranny. and i think that's very important. here he is inviting us to talk about the limits to democracy and the limits to religious freedom. religious freedom doesn't mean everything goes. like every other freedom and civil political society, there are limits to this particular freedom. i think that's an important part of the conversation. ll of them agreed and ended up democracy in egypt is now being written. and we should contribute, i think, as i forget dennis perhaps said it or maybe steve hadley, we should contribute as we can and as we are invited to do so. and helping them succeed in gaining democracy. and then finally, i have to point out that elliott abrams said he preferred the american
2:21 pm
model to the french model. although steve hadley said that he thinks some of the american people are becoming french. i was a little disturbed to hear that. with that, let me turn now to this extraordinary panel of experts and introduce them to you. first, let me tell you what we've asked them to reflect on and you'll find a remarkable similarity to the other themes of this conversation. this isn't every r everything we asked them to do. this is give you a feel for the kinds of things we asked them to give some thought to. where a free and fair democratic system would make resume for all religious actors is best for egypt and the other arab spring countries in the long run? second, whether a regime of robust religious freedom which we practice is an essential component of religious
2:22 pm
democracy, whether robust religious freedom is likely to moderate the liberal radicalism of some of the religious actors or is it to the contrary more likely to unleash the liberal radicalism? and then finally, here we move back into the area that we just discussed a bit in our keynote conversation, how can u.s. foreign policy, including our policy of advancing religious freedom, best foster both robust democracy and religious freedom in egypt? or if you like religious tolerance as well as the other countries affected by the arab spring? so let me introduce our panelists in the order in which they're going to speak. and we'll each talk 10, 12 minutes. we'll have a little conversation among ourselves. as always, we want to get our audience involved. first, simon shahada is a professor in arab studies alt georgetown university. he teaches courses on islamist
2:23 pm
politics, comparative -- islamist politics, comparative and middle east politics and political economy, u.s. policy toward the middle east, egyptian politics in society and culture and politics in the arab world. he has served as acting director of master of arts in arab studies program and is writings appeared in many journals and newspapers including the international journal of middle east studies, middle east policy, the georgetown journal of international affairs. i'm glad that you published here at georgetown, "slate," salan, al hyat. i'll say that i first saw him myself recently on the news hour with jim lahr. i look forward to hearing from him. next will be gillian swedler, professor of political science at the university of massachusetts amherst.
2:24 pm
we heard from her earlier in an extraordinarily good question which led to i thought some reflective and interesting answers. her academic interest include, listen to this political culture, protest and policing in jordan, neoliberalism, identity politics, and this is my favorite, contentious politics. where is there politics that is not contentious? and state repression. she has received awards in fellowships from the social science research council, the fullbright foundation oversees research centers and the american institute for yemeni studies. we heard a question about yemen. she conducted wide-ranging field research in egypt, jordan and yemen and traveled extensively throughout the region. and finally, last but not at all least, sam tetrose, a research fellow at the hudson institute. he was a senior partner at the
2:25 pm
egyptian union of liberal youth, an organization that aims to spread the idea of classical liberalism in egypt. before joining the hudson institute, he worked on the subject of the muslim brotherhood at the american enterprise ins tult and the heritage foundation on the subject of religious freedom in europe. he's written for many journals, newspapers and blogs including "the wall street journal," american theiinker, especially about liberalization in egypt. i just have to add that this is the first panel that i've ever moderated in which a former student of mine participated and that is sam tatrose. glad to you have all here. professor, you would lead us off? >> thank you very much. i should preface my remarks by saying that unlike gillian and samuel and hamad in the morning and some of the other distinguished panelists, i don't really work on questions of moderation and extremism. in fact, i have my students read your work.
2:26 pm
or religious freedoms or religious minorities. but i have done quite a bit of work over the last few years on egyptian politics and quite specifically the muslim brotherhood. it's in that frame that i i'll approach the questions i've been asked. there were three questions and i'll try to briefly address them as much as i can in order. the first, of course and the easiest to answer was, you know, whether a fully inclusive free and fair democratic system that makes room for all voices including islamist voices is best for egypt and other arab spring countries in the long run. i think, obviously, the answer to this question is clear. at least for me and that is yes. in fact, any implication that limiting the participation of islamist groups that seek to participate in formal politics and the political process by peaceful means, even those who
2:27 pm
hold views which we might consider a liberal and even some cases as some of the groups views are, i think detastable, any attempt to move in that direction is anti-democratic. and for that reason alone, i think the question needs to be addressed in the affirmative. yes, a fully inclusive free and fair democratic system makes the best sense. in fact, anything other than that really represents a step backwards, a failed logic of the past. a logic in which we supported mubarak because we thought the amount ea alternative was worse or as mr. sarkozy said in france, it's better to have an algerian talib taliban. better have to mubarak than the muslim brother. i reject that not only on the basis of religious freedom issues but on the basis of my commitment to democracy. >> the second question has to do with, and i think my -- i received it slightly different than how he presented it a
2:28 pm
moment ago. your question is harder to answer. i'm going to tell you the question that i understood. would a regime of liberal democracy including adherence to the principles of religious freedom moderator unleash the liberal radicalism of some of the voices? and the difference in emphasis is on liberal democracy as opposed to a regime that highlighted religious freedoms. that's the slight variation. and my answer is, and i think this is somewhat similar to some of the excellent discussion that was in panel one this morning was i don't know. but i -- but i would hope -- i would hope, and this is where i defer to gillian and mohammed, i would hope that political inclusion would force some groups if not to moderate to at least behave like political parties interested in gaining
2:29 pm
votes, interested in winning seats, interested in influencing policy and maybe less like only ideologically committed organizations that aren't necessarily interested in doing these things. because if they are interested in participating in the political process, gaining seats, winning votes and influencing policy, then you would think that they would present their message according to the immediamedian voter theo attract the largest number of voters and, therefore, it would be transformtive in that sense. in addition to compromise with other political forces and including ones which they disagree with. and that also would have a positive effect. i think we've seen that, actually, with regard to the muslim brotherhood from the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on